Friday, December 15, 2017

Certainty of purpose

Looking south along Park Avenue towards the Helmsley Building. 5:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Friday, December 15, 2017. It was very cold yesterday in New York, real overcoat time with temperatures below freezing, and overcast. They forecast some snow, but no.

I started the day on Wednesday down at Michael’s where we were lunching with Joan Kingsley, in from London this past week, with her daughter Anabel, and Blake Hughes, who is the CEO of Philip Kingsley Products which has hair and scalp clinics here and in London. The company was started by Joan’s husband Philip who died a year ago on this past September 7th. Philip and Joan’s daughter Anabel is director of communications for the company and, along with Mr. Hughes comes to New York fairly frequently. Joan, who grew up on Long Island, and I, met in summer stock in Lake Placid 50 years ago this year. We have never been at a loss for words.
The table down at Michael’s Wednesday (l-r): Blake Hughes, DPC, Joan Kingsley, Anabel Kingsley and JH.
Michael’s was really jumping, even more than usual this past Wednesday, only eleven more days until Christmas. Joe Armstrong was up here from Texas, dining with his friend David Zinczenko who was celebrating a birthday.  Joe, the “Mayor of Michael’s” (in absentia these days) was also lunching there on Tuesday with Sarah Rosenthal and Cynthia Brill. At the table next to Joe’s Kathie Lee Gifford was lunching with Eva Mohr, Kate Edelson and Valerie Simpson. At Table One Bonnie Fuller  ( and Gerry Byrne were hosting their  regular luncheon with several guests. Next door Mickey Ateyeh was hosting a lunch with Brenda Vaccaro, Betsy Perry, and Joan Jakobson.
The whole table ordered pumpkin soup.
Moving around the room, Nicole Meyer, sister of Jared Kushner, Douglas Eisenberg with Jonathan Estrich; Lisa Linden with Chris Heywood, Diane Clehane interviewing Rebecca Eaton, exec producer of PBS’ “Masterpiece Theatre”; Keith Kelly of the New York Post; Geraldine Laybourne, former CEO of Oxygen Media; Frank McCourt, former owner of the LA Dodgers; ICM literary agent Esther Newberg; Marsha Levine of the Marlborough Gallery; actress Leesa Rowland; Sarabeth Shrager; Jane Hanson with Perri Peltz, Jane Huff and Rosanna Scotto; producer Beverly Camhe; Andy Plesser of Dish Network; Jill Brooke; Tom Rogers; Bruce Paisner of Hearst Entertainment; Armando Ruiz; Stan Shuman; Cathie Black; Suzanne Dawson.

Back up a couple of days. Tuesday night,
The Animal Medical Center (AMC) held its annual gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. When you walked into the massive Italian Romanesque Revival style building — constructed in 1921-23 for the Bowery Savings Bank, the interior of marble, limestone, sandstone, bronze which stands 65 feet high and 80 feet wide and 197.5 feet deep — it looked like this ...
The interior holds several hundred comfortably. Tuesday evening when you walked in off of East 42nd Street, it was just plain sensational. It lifted you right up; you were just glad to be there.

David Monn created this Singular Sensation with his bevy of artists and other creators. I’ve seen a number of them, all wonderful, but this one was perfect for the season, and the organization.  The Animal Medical Center has a similar effect and reputation in another part of our lives. David Monn reminded us with the brilliant centerpieces.
The table at the Top Dog Gala.  The dog bone is really bread (for us dawgs).
Dogs and Cats of our very own at table.
I was told this year it was a record crowd. I don’t know how much they raised Tuesday night but I’ll bet it was well over $1 million. They honored Georgina Bloomberg with the Brooke Astor Award. Mrs. Astor, who was a devoted animal lover all her life, once remarked about the AMC that if she ever got sick, she wanted to go the Animal Medical Center for treatment. Ms. Bloomberg, a daughter of our former mayor and his (former) wife Susan, is a champion equestrienne, and has made a name for herself in raising our consciousness about the animals in our lives.

This is excerpted from the program:

She is an EQUUStar for the EQUUS Foundation and is on the board of the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the Lake Placid Horse Show, the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Foundation, and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. She is a founding member of the Humane Generation/Friends of Finn committee for the Humane Society of the United States, a group dedicated to fighting puppy mills and advocating for pet adoption. She has rescued many pets in her life including four dogs, a pig, a goat, a bunny, two miniature horses, mules, and retired and rescued horses, including a retired New York carriage horse.
She has her mother’s kindness and charm, and her father’s certainty of purpose; a powerful combination.

I’m one of those animal people she communicates to. The room was full of us that night. The feeling for the dogs (and cats and also other pets) is a highly personal and emotional one. We have a lot to learn from them. Those who are cared for reward us with their presence which invites our love.  That is the reward. That also requires respect. Acquiring, waking up to the feeling is a great reward in life. It is precious, and so are they.  In her acceptance speech, Georgina Bloomberg quoted her mother who had long ago advised her daughter: “Never trust a man who doesn’t like dogs.”
AMC Chairman Bobby Liberman and CEO Kathryn Coyne.
The honoree, Georgina Bloomberg, with one of her five dogs (all rescued).
And at the podium discussing how we can rescue ALL of them so there need be no shelters.
 Oh, you don’t believe it? Wait ...
The evening was hosted by Bobby Liberman, who is Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He shared the awards with Kathryn Coyne, who is Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital.

There were also Top Dog Honorees: K-9 Officer Mitchell of the Jamestown Police Department; and three from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, all in the Canine Accelerant Detection Program. Bobby Liberman pointed out that not only were these dogs highly skilled, but most of them are from shelters, rescue organizations, or private individuals who try to avoid placing their dog in a shelter.

After the program was over and we were being served dessert, the wonderful Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks took the stage and guests got up to dance.  The benefits co-chairs were Robert Couturier, Nancy Kissinger, Elaine Langone, Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy, and Annette de la Renta. Beneft vice-chairs were Merrill Curtis, Alexander Hamer, Guy Emile Harley, Lily Maddock, Flo Fulton Miller and Alison Minton.
The official shot.
These past few and next few days are full of parties everywhere around this great big city. Giving some a chance to be neighbors or at least to be around them. This past Wednesday night, Mary Hilliard hosted her annual holiday party at her East 85th Street digs. Mary sets out a buffet of the classic holiday party and hearty dishes starting with the baked ham, meat pie, and grits — all of which was well received and then again and again.

Meanwhile her living room and dining room were literally jammed with her wide variety of friends. All friendly too even if you’d never met. Mary is one of those hostesses, one of those people whose presence brings out the best in everyone because we feel totally comfortable around her. So it was at her party.
The door to chez Hilliard for the annual Christmas/Holiday reception and buffet.
Getting together.
The guests’ gifts to our hostess.
Happy to be there; much to say to many ...
The buffet; irresistable.
Then last night over at Doubles, Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney and George Farias hosted their annual holiday party. This is also a very popular party in New York, and draws a wide variety of some of the most actively prominent men and women in the city, many of whom know each other and again, under the most agreeable circumstances of twinkling lights and an unbelievably beautiful buffet (this is the Doubles’ style), everyone was talking to everyone, having a great time and whatever they wished to drink. Happy Holidays are out there among us right now!
The view on entering Doubles.
Annette Tapert, host George Farias, Grace Meigher, Pietro Cicognani, and Katherine Bryan as seen through the camera of DPC.
And the same scene thanks to the flash of Patrick McMullan.
The buffet looks almost to perfect to be real (and consumed). Perfect and real.
Mama Bear and Baby Bear greeting guests with Santa bidding Debbie Bancroft a fond goodbye.
A Christmas tree on a mansion in the East 60s off Fifth.

Contact DPC here.